The appraisal of the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Fairview Powerplant in Jackson Township led to millions of dollars in taxes that should not have been collected.
Cambria County officials said they contracted an outside company, Resource Technologies Corporation (RTC) to do the appraisal.
“It’s above the expertise of our in-house appraisers here.”
While the county owes nearly two million to the Powerplant, Central Cambria school district needs to pay back $3.7 million over the next three years.
The district’s superintendent Jason Moore said it is not the fault of CPV.
“They’ve been great partners to the school district, so I just want to make sure that no one blames them, You can’t even blame the county officials because they hired an expert and the expert and the expert’s opinion was very much wrong. Unfortunately, it has devastating impact on the school district.”
He said the school saved about $250,000 of the about $1 million collected in taxes each year from CPV.
“Every other time that this has ever happened with commercial tax appeals 25 percent has always been a very conservative amount,”
But this time it was not nearly enough according to Moore who said much of the other 75 percent of the money went toward new teachers and support staff contracts.
Legal action could be taken for the misappraisal.
“There’s certain things that could possibly lead to litigation that I can’t comment on, but there are discussions taking place that will decide if there will be litigation on it,”
Jackson Township officials said they do not owe CPV any money because they negotiated a different deal when the Powerplant was being built.
They call it the Community Host Benefits Fund and it states the Powerplant paid $500,000 to the township in its first year paying taxes and that goes up two percent each year.
“It makes no sense for us to go in with the county and the school because the more they raise the assessed amount the more we would collect in real estate taxes but the more we collect in real estate taxes is the more that comes out of our fund, There was nothing to gain by it from us.”